Assad: Syria-Iran alliance unshakeable

Says presence at Annapolis didn't weaken ties; inaugurates two Syrian-Iranian factories.

By
December 13, 2007 19:39
2 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Syrian President Bashar Assad rejected claims that Syria's alliance with Iran had been weakened by Damascus' participation in last month's US-sponsored Mideast peace conference, saying Thursday that the two countries' ties will never be shaken. Assad made the comments as he inaugurated two joint Syrian-Iranian industrial projects - factories for cars and cement. He was joined at the ceremonies by the Iranian industry and housing ministers. The November conference in Annapolis, Maryland, which relaunched Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, was widely seen as also aimed at isolating Iran by bringing together Arab nations. US officials have expressed hopes that Syria's attendance would mark a start to easing it out of its alliance with Teheran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other top officials denounced the conference, and some officials expressed surprise over Syria's participation - though none directly criticized it. Speaking at the auto factory, Assad said, "inaugurating this plant in partnership with our Iranian brothers and officials is a response to those who tried to circulate (reports) ... that relations between the two countries have been shaken." "I confirm, on this occasion, that relations will not be shaken for any reason or under any circumstance," Assad said at the factory in Hasya, some 160 kilometers north of the Syrian capital, Damascus. according to the official SANA news agency. Syria and Iran have growing economic ties, with the annual two-way trade estimated at about US$200 million. The size of Iranian investments in Syria has reached around US$2 billions in sectors such as power generation, automobiles, cement and agriculture. Syria is Iran's closest Arab ally. The two countries have had close relations since 1980 when Syria sided with Persian Iran against Iraq in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. The $50 million International Syrian-Iranian Factory for Cars is the second car venture between the two countries in less than a year. It will have an initial production capacity of up to 15,000 cars a year and would likely increase to reach 35,000 cars annually at its final stage, SANA said. In March, Syria and Iran inaugurated the first joint car project in the industrial city of Adra near Damascus. Assad and the Iranian ministers also inaugurated a new cement plant in the northern city of Hama, some 210 kilometers northwest of the Syrian capital. The factory that had cost US$250 million has a production capacity of 1.1 million tons annually, SANA said. The project, which would create some 400 jobs, was initially agreed upon during a visit by then Iranian President Mohammed Khatami to Syria in mid 1999. The project is financed by the Kuwait Fund for Economic Development and the Iranian company has provided all the necessary equipment.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Bitcoin (virtual currency) coins placed on Dollar banknotes
December 14, 2018
Saudi Arabia and UAE to launch cross-border cryptocurrency

By THE MEDIA LINE